Irish Life agrees €230m deal to buy Ark Life

Company will take over €2.1bn of assets as part of deal

There is already a pre-existing relationship between Irish Life and Ark Life. Photograph: iStock

There is already a pre-existing relationship between Irish Life and Ark Life. Photograph: iStock

 

Irish Life has agreed a deal to buy Ark Life from ReAssure Limited for €230 million.

The deal will see the company take over approximately 150,000 policies, and €2.1 billion worth of assets from Ark Life.

Ark Life, which is closed to new business and has been in run-down since 2012, manages a range of existing pensions, savings and protection policies.

There is already a pre-existing relationship between Irish Life and Ark Life; Irish Life Financial Services acts as third-party administrator for Ark Life policies, and Irish Life Investment Managers manage the policyholder investments.

“This latest transaction further demonstrates the strong financial position of Irish Life. Our ambition is to grow our business both organically and through acquisitions where we see a strong commercial and cultural fit,” said Irish Life group chief executive Declan Bolger. “Our existing relationship with Ark Life means we are ideally placed to continue to offer excellent customer service for policy holders, including access to enhanced digital services.”

Irish Life was one of two bidders vying to take over Ark Life, which was being sold by London-listed insurance services company Phoenix Group. Phoenix Group inherited the former AIB life and pensions business Ark Life in 2019 under its purchase of a company called ReAssure Group from Swiss reinsurance giant Swiss Re.

“We have a strong working relationship with the team at Irish Life who provide best-in-class investment management and service to our customers,” said Ann Kelleher, CEO of Ark Life. “ As we join Irish Life we believe our new ownership will only enhance that customer experience in the future.”

Meanwhile, Irish Life parent company Great-West Lifeco and AIB have teamed up to form a life and pensions joint venture.

The bank will invest €90 million in the 50:50 joint venture, to cover its share of the set-up costs and regulatory capital required for the new business.